Returning officer responsibilities

The below list of returning officer responsibilities is an extract from page 7 of the Returning Officers' Handbook 2019-2022.

The board is responsible for promoting elections.

The role of the returning officer is:

  • To prepare separate rolls of all persons eligible to vote in:
    • the election of parent representatives at the triennial or mid-term elections (for boards that have adopted the staggered election cycle)
    • the election of one staff representative at the triennial elections
    • the election of one student representative, held each year in September
    • any by-election for the above positions.

  • To call for nominations of people eligible to stand as candidates

  • To receive nominations, determine eligibility to stand, and update the chair about the number of nominations

  • To ensure that the name of every eligible candidate is available for inspection at any reasonable time at the school, that is, from the time of receipt until polling day

  • To receive candidates’ statements and, if necessary, edit these statements; and to receive a candidate photograph, if included as part of their statement

    NOTE: The only grounds for editing a statement are if you reasonably consider that part of the statement is likely to be defamatory or offensive, or the statement is too long. A statement of about 400 words is a reasonable length. Retyping or sub-editing purely to improve the presentation is not a requirement

  • If a voting election is required: to prepare and distribute by post, or by delivering personally to each elector on the parent roll, a voting paper containing the names of candidates for whom the elector is entitled to vote, together with candidates’ statements and a return envelope

  • If a voting election is required: to prepare and distribute to each elector on the staff roll a voting paper containing the names of candidates for whom the elector is entitled to vote, together with candidates’ statements and a return envelope, or advise where these can be collected

  • To receive all voting papers and ensure they are held in safe custody

  • To open and examine all voting papers and envelopes to determine whether the votes meet the requirements for validity, and count the number of votes cast for each candidate

  • To declare the results of elections

  • To promptly complete and submit Appendix 1 online, so the Ministry of Education is advised of the outcomes of all elections

  • To ensure that Appendix 2 is completed and submitted by newly elected trustees, or report to the board chair that this needs to be done by the new trustee(s).

NOTE: Returning officers must follow the election timetable and cannot alter it in any way.

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